Traditional Roman Recipe: Cacio e Pepe Pasta

By Monika Tsimbalov

Cacio e pepe, in Italian, literally means cheese and pepper. This is a traditional Roman dish that includes only black pepper and Pecorino Romano cheese. Simplicity is sometimes the best form of goodness! It’s usually made with thin spaghetti such as tonnarelli or vermicelli.

How to make Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti:

  1. Pour the grated Pecorino Romano cheese into a bowl.
  2. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water
  3. Pour some of the hot cooked water into the bowl of cheese. Whisk.
  4. When the pasta is almost al dente, drain it and pour it in a saucepan with 1 tbsp olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Sauté the spaghetti and add the cheese mixture and stir for 1 minute.
  6. Serve with grated cheese and black pepper.

Though this dish can be found in many Roman restaurants, it is particularly famous at Roma Sparita. A restaurant tucked away in Trastevere on Piazza di Santa Cecilia. This place gained much of its fame when it was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservation’s. The chef at Roma Sparita spices up the recipe by adding a Parmesan bowl and butter to the cheese mix. Cacio e Pepe pasta is a must-try while in Rome!


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